Features

Publisher’s Note: Conquering Cancer

Seattle is leading the way

By Jonathan Sposato October 24, 2022

Seattle Magazine owner and publisher, Jonathan Sposato

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2022 issue of Seattle Magazine.

There is always something to smile about.

“On my hardest days of missing Josh, I open up his journals and am reminded of how strong he was in the face of adversity. I am constantly inspired to live my life more like he did. I do so by finding purpose in my pain and not letting grief steal my joy.” – Fabi Powell, caregiver and spouse of cancer victim Josh Powell, who passed of rare synovial sarcoma in 2017.

Such is the sentiment of most family members whose loved one has been touched by cancer. In death, we look for strength and inspiration to soldier on. According to a 2017 CBS poll, 54% of Americans say they or someone else in their immediate family has been diagnosed with cancer at some point.

Chances are that cancer has claimed the life of one of your family members or a friend. It is in fact the second leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for more than 600,000 deaths in 2020.

But there is hope. And that hope originates right here in Seattle.

Continuing on our thesis that Seattle is a world-class city doing world-changing things, we put the focus this issue on the superheroes working to defeat cancer. These superheroes wield powers of analysis, critical thinking, medical acumen and a career-long maniacal focus on the defeat of these diseases in their many forms.

All are a vital part of a prominent role Seattle has taken as the epicenter of cancer research and treatment. We are just as much, if not more, about DNA and medical advancements as we are about silicon and cloud computing. Seattle Magazine Executive Editor Rob Smith was able to interview these world leaders in cancer research, offering much insight into the nature of the problem’s complexity, while revealing some exciting progress. These are stories that will make you very “Seattle proud.”

Did you know, for instance, that the geneticist who discovered the BRCA1 gene that causes breast cancer works out of Seattle? Or that several top medical professionals moved here solely because of the city’s reputation for collegiality and collaboration in research? Their stories are insightful, uplifting and inspirational. This is also our annual Top Doctors issue, a comprehensive guide to medical professionals working diligently to keep their patients, and our city, healthy.

And as always, we’ve curated for you much more of what we love about our city. Whether it’s an excerpt from former PATH CEO Steve Davis’ incredible new book; “Undercurrents: Channeling Outrage to Spark Practical Activism,” a delightful look at one of our least-known contributions to the world of sports with pickleball or several stories that focus on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, you’ll find, as we do, that in Seattle there’s always something to smile about.

About the Publisher’s Note Column

Publisher's Note is Seattle magazine owner Jonathan Sposato's highly subjective perspective on the issues that confront our community the most.  Jonathan's mission with the publication is to focus our attention on solutions, and to change the conversation in Seattle to an always hopeful, positive, and productive place.

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